|Prevalent ritualistic worship
In Maharashtra, Saturday is considered to be the day of Maruti while in rest of India (Bhaarat) both Tuesday and Wednesday are considered to be His days. There is a custom of offering sindoor and oil to Maruti on these days. Breaking a coconut in front of Maruti also appears to be an age old custom. For spiritual progress, Maruti with His face to the left (Vaammukhi Maruti) or Maruti with an attitude of service (Daas Maruti) is worshipped.
Why should oil, sindoor and leaves of calotropis (ruee) be offered to Sree Hanuman?
When a particular thing is offered to a Deity, it is generally explained in simple terms, that the Deity likes it. For example, Lord Ganapati likes hibiscus flowers (Jaaswanti), Lord Shankar likes Bel while Lord Vishnu likes Tulsi. A story is then told to further elaborate this point. However, the superior Deities like Shankar, Vishnu and Ganapati do not have any likes or dislikes. The reason underlying offering a specific thing to a specific deity is described here. One of the objectives of ritualistic worship is creating Divine consciousness in the Idol we are worshipping. This helps us progress in our spiritual practice. The object which has the maximum capacity of creating Divine consciousness (chaitanya) is offered to the Idol; hence Maruti is offered oil, sindoor and leaves of calotropis.
Why a sitting idol of Maruti should not be kept on the altar?
Whenever possible, a seated idol which represents the unmanifest (nirgun) destroyer (maarak) form of Maruti, is not kept on the altar because of the need for the manifest destroyer Principle of Maruti.
To get the benefit of the gross, manifest and destroyer element, we should avoid installing an idol of Maruti in a seated posture. Amongst the seven higher deities (Shiva, Ganapati, Rama, Krishna, Datta, Maruti and Durga), Maruti's Principle (tattva) is of gross, manifest and destroyer nature. The word 'Hanuman' (Maruti) means - "One whose 'roar' cannot be fathomed even by Deities." When Deities are on a destructive mission, they use the 'Maruti' element (which moves at the speed of wind) as a medium to appear in the Universe. Hence He is referred to as Maruti. Maruti means the one, who with the help of His wind Principle, compels the Deities to get manifested (moort) in the Universe, for the welfare of their devotees. The roar of Maruti is capable of activating the element of any higher deity in the Universe, engrossed in deep meditation. Similarly, it also possesses the power to shake all the fourteen planes (saptalok and saptapaataal).
Maruti, in a seated posture, depicts the unmanifest form of energy. Maruti, in a warrior posture (Veeraasan) depicts the manifest form of energy. To obtain benefit of the gross, manifest and destroyer Principle we should avoid installing a seated idol of Maruti on the altar. Maruti in a seated position, implies He is in deep meditation, wherein His motor organs are in a dormant, inactive state. Thus, a common man will be able to derive very little benefit from this posture of Maruti. Only when the spiritual level** of an embodied soul is above 60%, is he capable of activating the element present in an idol in meditation, through his devotion.
Excerpts from article featured at Forum for Hindu Awakening
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